Moonlight Hour (Live 1970)
The Tremeloes, probably Dagenham’s second finest. Which, given the number of good things that either came from or went to Essex is not bad really. Of all the British beat-groups that still get remembered The Tremeloes are nearly one.
One hit wonder really, Silence is Golden. Good hit. But what else was there? Well there were other songs of course – lots of covers, indeed Silence is actually a cover. But they pumped out the rock’n’roll just as The Kinks, The Faces, The Animals and all that generally trailed along on the wake of The Beatles and The Stones did. Got their chance to have a hit in America, kept touring Europe forever seemingly. It’s a standard story really.
They formed in 1958 and some version of the band is still going and this archival live set from 1970 has a great energy to it. They tear through the songs with the efficiency of the Ramones and the energy of Trini Lopez and, odd as that might seem, that’s the middle ground they strike. With well-meaning versions of songs like Here Comes My Baby and Yellow River and a weird-little sitar-driven medley-snippet of Games People Play.
The big hit, Silence, is here. And it’s pretty good – since all the members of the band sang live and so that falsetto is there, the harmonies are there, and the band’s R’n’B beat-combo energy is dulled down to ballad-setting. At least until the chorus when they rark it up a tiny bit.
You are going to get more energy from Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels and the American bands of the same era. And it tends to get a bit music-hall at times (Even The Bad Times Are Good) where these loveable, likely lads are mugging hard. But the changes between songs are slick and there’s almost something Bee Gees-like to the vocal blend on Suddenly You Love Me.
A final medley of Hound Dog/Rip It Up/Johnny B. Goode/Whole Lotta Shakin Goin’ On manages to last for three whole minutes, making it the longest track here by a minute – even if it is four tunes in one. Love that spiky, pre-punk guitar. And the EP length of a live album that features 14 songs in a blistering 23-minute run. It’s unnecessary to have this but it is quite good fun. While it lasts. And at least it doesn’t last too long.
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